Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Carson Robertson
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Rowing Injuries - Prevention and Recovery

An Old Sport Reborn

Rowing is an old but growing sport. Once a niche pastime of elite Ivy League colleges and prep schools, rowing is now more accessible and popular than ever. The sport is rapidly approaching the popularity of its heyday, when it was one of the original Olympic sports and as popular across the country as baseball. In recent years, rowing has seen a growth of about 30 percent, as more and more colleges and clubs offer first time participants a chance to get on the water. Women's rowing has especially taken off as a mainstream sport, and has seen a 67% increase in participation in the past two decades. The sport's popularity is not limited to college athletics, either. Go to any gym, and chances are you'll see a bank of occupied rowing machines in the cardio room. Even the president is a fan; well not the real president, but President Frank Underwood on the hit Netflix show House of Cards is frequently seen burning calories on his WaterRower. However, while more people (real and fictional) are rowing than ever, there is a downside: injuries.

Rowers are exceptionally prone to overuse injuries in the arms and shoulders. A 2007 study of 398 rowers indicated that over 70 percent suffered pain or injuries of some sort while participating in the sport. Injuries commonly seen in rowing include crossover tendonitis in the wrist, forearm compartment syndrome, and other soft tissue maladies caused by overuse and repetitive motion. Fortunately, a sore arm doesn't have to keep you off the water for too long. There are new and innovative techniques to treat rowing injuries and get rowers back in competition sooner rather than later.

The Graston Technique for Rowers
Hand 3

One of the newer treatments to help recover from a painful rowing injury is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization. GT involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

GT therapy is great news for rowers with a sore arm, wrist, or shoulder and even back pain. Typical soft tissue injuries, often called adhesions, can keep muscles painfully tight and limit range of motion. GT is particularly effective at addressing these conditions. Additionally, GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, so it is worth checking with your physical therapist to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.

Active Release Treatment Therapy (ART)

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat rowing injuries commonly seen in the sport. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for sore rowers everywhere.

Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether. This is great news for rowers, especially those who are experiencing routine or growing soft tissue pain. So if injuries are holding you back from rowing hard, ART may be the right choice for you.

Get Back on the Water
Get Back on the Water

Rowing is the ultimate team sport, and it is growing in popularity. The timeless sport, with its repetitive motion and intensity, leaves athletes exceptionally prone to overuse injuries. The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer innovative ways to keep rowers' muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and rapidly getting you back in action. So don't wait until it's too late. Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and get back to rowing hard on the water.

Our Chandler Chiropractic and Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.